Introducing Hubii: Behind the Scenes

Few months ago we launched our new responsive website and the Android app, so we decided to create a video to introduce hubii to the new users. The goal of the video was to explain what Hubii is and the basic features of the web and the app. I would like to explain the steps that I followed to create the animation for the video, and to do it I’ll give as an example the first scene.



As you can see, in the first scene there is the sentence “Hubii brings you all the News” and the last word “News" is on a newspaper. This newspaper starts to fall down, while the camera follows it and other newspapers join the action. As the camera moves down the Statue of Liberty appears into the frame, so you don't need to be Sherlock Holmes to deduce that the action is taking place in New York. Hubii offers the only location-based news reader in the world, that's why location plays a major role in the video. When the camera reaches the ground we can see a woman sitting on a cafe terrace, reading news on her smartphone. Finally the twister of newspapers gets into the smartphone.



After the storyboard I started with the animatic. Animatic is just a series of still images displayed in sequence to give a better idea of how the scene will look and feel with motion and timing.


For the character I first made a sketch and then I drew it in Adobe Flash, I like to use this program to make quick sketches and animations. When drawing a character it has to be taken in consideration which parts will be animated later to draw them separately from the rest of the body, in this case: head, right hand, right arm…


For the background I took some references of the Liberty Statue and the cafe terrace in Liberty Island.


You may think I made a mistake with the orientation of the Liberty Statue, but I drew her looking at the camera to make her more recognizable, that’s the magic of cinema. I designed the background in different layers so they can be animated separately and create a parallax effect when the camera moves from the sky to the ground.


Once the designs are finished it’s time to bring things to life. The background and the character were animated in Flash, but for the newspapers animation I decided to use a 3D program to get a better visual effect.



Finally all the scene were composed in After Effects, adding some effects as motion blur, particle systems, vignetting…


And here is the final result:

Song tittle: Little Idea.
"Royalty Free Music from Bensound"